Mass shootings in California have increased since 2020
Although California has some of the strictest gun laws in the country, the state — like America itself — has recorded an increase in mass shootings in recent years.
By the numbers: Just five years ago, the country had never experienced 500 mass shootings in one year. The annual figure crossed 600 in 2020 and has kept climbing.
- Hours later, that increased to 501 mass shootings after one person died and five others were wounded in El Paso, Texas.
Of note: A January shooting on the eve of Lunar New Year in Monterey Park, California, a largely Asian American area, has caused the most deaths so far in 2023. Eleven people were killed and nine were injured in the massacre.
- A shooting in Half Moon Bay that followed just two days later left seven dead.
Catch up quick: California enacted some of its toughest gun laws after a gunman killed eight people in a law firm at 101 California Street 30 years ago.
- The mass shooting — San Francisco's deadliest to this day — sparked a statewide and federal push to restrict semiautomatic weapons, invest in resources for people with mental illnesses, and hold gun manufacturers accountable if appropriate.
- Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) later cited the shooting in her advocacy for the 1994 federal assault weapons ban, which was in effect for 10 years.
Between the lines: The FBI does not define or quantify what constitutes a mass shooting.
- Gun Violence Archive, an independent research and data collection organization, defines a mass shooting as a shooting in which four or more people were shot or killed, not including the shooter.
- This makes its numbers higher than some other sources with varying definitions.
The big picture: With increasing personal experiences, more Americans view gun violence as a public health concern.
- One in six Americans has witnessed someone being shot, according to survey data from earlier this year.
- Gun deaths among children also hit a record high in 2021, per data released in August.
What they're saying: "It doesn't matter if you're Black, white, gay, straight or what religion you are," Rudy Corpuz Jr., founder of local violence prevention and youth development organization United Playaz, said at a rally by Golden Gate Bridge in June. "When those bullets come flying, it's not going to discriminate."
More San Francisco stories
No stories could be found
Get a free daily digest of the most important news in your backyard with Axios San Francisco.